It seems like a bit of a contradiction, doesn’t it? I promise, it’s not.
Here’s the secret I’ve found: to be both flexible AND focused, leaders need to embrace and practice the principles of being a COACH LEADER.
Some leaders have initially resisted the idea of becoming a COACH LEADER, because they view it as risking results or giving up control.
Neither is true, and a great coach leader actually stays FOCUSED on both the RESULTS and RELATIONSHIPS.
It’s possible to be both flexible and focused when we do two things…
First, keep your attention on the WHAT. These are the goals, the mission, what the team is working toward. As the leader, it’s your responsibility to bring the vision and to ensure that the strategic objectives move people toward that vision. This is how you’ll stay focused, and keep your team focused.
Second, make space for collaboration and feedback on the HOW. It’s important that you create an environment for your team where they are able to bring their ideas, perspectives, and working styles to the table and allow those things to inform the “how.” This provides flexibility. The methods, the tools, the approaches that will move you toward the vision should be influenced by the contributions of the whole team. As one of my clients recently stated it: “If there is no PUT IN, there will be no BUY IN.”
To stay flexible, it’s important to stay open to the contributions of your team—even when (and especially!) if it’s not the way you would’ve done it.
Being both a FOCUSED and FLEXIBLE leader is possible. And, when practiced regularly, yields outstanding business results.